​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A new programme to improve children's nutrition and school attendance in Burundi​

Milk is new on the school menu in Burundi as a part of a growing school food programme. Tetra Pak is supporting our customer, the newly founded local company Modern Dairy Burundi, to help boost the nutrition of 20,000 children and contribute to a positive spiral of health, development and school attendance.

The challenge

According to the World Food Programme (WFP), only 28% of Burundi’s population is food-secure, and as many as 58 percent are chronically malnourished. Despite a gradual return to peace, food security has not improved in recent years. Without proper nutrition, children can perform poorly at school, drop out of classes and become ill later in life.

A school feeding programme is in development, but it will take time for local stakeholders to become skilled enough to take full ownership. In particular, tough conditions for smallholder farmers make it difficult for them to be competitive in meeting the schools’ demand for milk. As a result, it will be a while until the programme can depend on local sourcing of food – the preferred and sustainable model.

The initiative

Following an official policy paper from the World Food Programme (WFP), that supports the use of UHT milk in their school feeding operations, Tetra Pak is part of a school meals programme to boost nutrition for 20,000 children in central Burundi.

The EU is providing €5 million for the WFP to purchase up to one third of the required food commodities from local smallholders in the Gitega province. Our customer, the newly founded local company, Modern Dairy Burundi, is supplying fresh milk in Tetra Fino® Aseptic 200ml packages​.

“We are very pleased with our cooperation with Tetra Pak and Food for Development, which has helped us achieve our mission of providing safe and high quality UHT milk to the school children in Burundi.” - Juma Mohamed CEO of Modern Dairy Burundi.

The value

The school milk programme in Burundi has just started and will contribute to a positive spiral of health, development and school attendance by providing nutrition to the children.

According to the WFP, when children receive a standard meal of 401kcal for 200 days a year, they gain an average of 0.37 kg more than children who are not part of the programme. In pre-school meals programmes, children gain an average of 0.54 cm per year.

Looking ahead

The next step is to stabilise the programme by further developing the capacity of local stakeholders to take ownership in the long-term. ​

Children receiving milk at a school in Burundi